Peter Gavin previews Guernsey Raiders v Worthing Raiders

ROUND 2

Guernsey Raiders v Worthing Raiders

8th September 2018 Kick-off 2pm

The fixtures secretary has been rather unkind to us, as we set off on our travels once again for this the second fixture of the season. Indeed, we take to the road and the air to visit Guernsey for the first encounter against the Islanders in a league fixture.

Worthing visited the Island on tour in the early 1970s.

History & Background stuff.

The club was established in 1913 but a year later The Great War put an end to rugby and it was not until 1928 when the club was officially founded according to Wikipedia. Indeed in the club history there are claims that rugby was played on the Island in the late 19th century, although the matches may not have warranted the formation of an official club. The only ball was closely guarded. Post match discussions presumably took place in local hostelries, after play on a muddy pitch borrowed from a farmer. By 2011 a new clubhouse had been constructed in Footes Lane, drainage is being improved and floodlights erected. Junior rugby and an Academy are up and running and the club is thriving.

League Record

Guernsey is affiliated to Hampshire RFC and they emerged from the county league as Champions in 2004. They negotiated the regional leagues winning London South (level 6) in 2012 and reached National 2 South (L4) this season after winning the play-off mentioned below.

Ladies Rugby

In 2012 they applied to join the English leagues but the application was rejected by the RFU as a moratorium had been passed not to admit any more offshore teams to the leagues. Happily this was overturned in 2014 and GLR duly won the South East South 2 league. They won promotion again last season.

Club Colours: Green and White

Siam Cup

This trophy, apparently the second oldest cup in rugby (behind the Calcutta Cup), is a large circular rose-bowl made from coinage of Siam (ticals). King Rama VI of Siam gave permission for the coins to be melted down and commissioned his Royal silversmith to create the bowl. The original trophy resides at Twickers for safekeeping. The trophy was first contested in 1920. It was originally an annual contest between Victoria College in Jersey and Elizabeth College in Guernsey. When rugby was no longer played at the colleges it was decided to contest the cup between the Island Rugby clubs. Jersey are presently in level 2 and are virtually professional, so a local rule was introduced to the effect that Jersey players have to have played 3 seasons for Jersey before qualification into this contest. Guernsey are the present holders having been victorious 46-30. A large crowd attended. Jersey lead the contest by some margin.

Links with Worthing

Worthing toured Guernsey in the early 1970s and an enjoyable weekend was spent on the Island. It is a long time ago and a few members including yours truly ventured forth. The party stayed at The Yacht and mine host Peter Yates looked after us. We cleared his stock and didn’t disturb the bedrooms. His till was full and our pockets were empty. We returned to the mainland defeated, broke and hungover for at least 3 days. That ‘Guernsey Feeling’ has moved to folklore!  Many thanks to Guernsey RFC for their hospitality.

Raiders v Raiders

Whatever else happens there will be plenty of support for ‘Raiders’ on the Island this Saturday.

Worthing considered the Marketing ploy for introducing a nickname for the 1st team squad for quite some time but it was not until 2007 that Raiders and Raiders ‘A’ (Aiders) emerged. We waited another nine years before introducing the mascot ‘Reggie’ to the public. Guernsey Raiders emerged in 2016 with ‘Rocky’ taking the stage. So now we could have a possible showdown between ‘Rocky’ and ‘Reggie’!! A 50m dash or a yard of ale!…. Will Reggie travel?

Last season… London & South East Premier Runners up …P26/ W22/ L4…110 points      

A successful season saw Guernsey beat Bournemouth 38-23 in an exciting play-off match against the team who came 2nd in South West Premier. Guernsey were probably disappointed that they didn’t gain automatic promotion as Champions as they were top of the league by 3 points with two games to play, but lost away to Tring (22-17) in the penultimate match. Barnes came by on the rails to clinch the title with the same record but 1 more BP.

Team v Bournemouth: 1.Steventon 2.Ceillam 3.Baptiste L 4.Hillier 5. Merrien 6.Martin 7. Hill  8. Horrocks 9. Brown K 10. Thomas 11. Armstrong 12. Batiste J  13. Jones 14. Sayer 15. Whitehead.

Bench: Craine, Le Cocq, Skovronek, Brown N.

This season so far……P1 / L1…early days…Old Albanian (59-5)

A visit to Woollams to take on Old Albanian, relegated from National1, was always likely to be a difficult day out, but Guernsey held out for 30 minutes or so, looking good in the tight. Once OA breached the defence nine tries (seven converted) were scored at regular intervals (HT 21-0). Guernsey scored in the 42nd minute through a forward drive. They received two yellow cards during the match one in each half, in fact seven of Old Albanian’s tries were scored when Guernsey had 14 players on the field.

The players

As usual a list of players used so far is provided along with a little more detail as to the player’s credentials. It seems that Guernsey are suffering with injuries as DOR Jordan Reynolds mentioned before the visit to St Albans that up to ten players were unavailable through injury. The absence of fly half Owen Thomas (Welsh Universities), out until January with a shoulder issue, and experienced Kiwi centre and former captain Blair Campbell will have caused issues.

There are a good number making the trip across to watch this match and to enjoy a few days in the sunshine (Regrettably I will not be there).

A win for Raiders is almost a certainty as you don’t get many draws in this league!!

C’Mon Raiders!!! (of the Worthing variety)

Name & (Age) N 2 Apps 2018-9 Joined Points Honours Position / Previous Club/s & Appearances *played v Raiders
Anthony Armstrong (22) 1 2015 Full Back: Guernsey Youth                                  Player of the year 2017/8
Daley Aremu (22) 1 2018 Wing: Winchester, Old Albanian
Alex Gow (19) 1 2018 Queensland Youth 7s Centre: Souths Rugby Brisbane
Elia Morisio (23) 1 2018 Fiji U20 Centre: West Harbour NSW, Amatori Catania Sicily.
Taylor Quate 21 1 Wing: St Jacques Vikings, Guernsey
Tom Teasdale (18) 1 2017 Fly Half: Elizabeth College, Guernsey Youth
Nicolas Alexandre (25) 1 2018 Scrum Half: Rugby Andresien, Rugby Santander
Sam Steventon (26) 1 2016 England Counties U20 LH Prop: Henley* 9
Tom Ceillam (27) 1 2012 Hampshire Hooker:  Guernsey Youth
Charlie Currie 1 2017 TH Prop:  Thurrock
Lewis Hillier (Capt) 1 2012 Hampshire Gloucestershire Lock: Cleve (2007-2010),
Nick Merrien (28) 1 2008 Hampshire Lock: Guernsey Youth
Doug Horrocks (26) 1 2017 1T NZ Schools BS Wing Forward: Te Kawau, Wanganui NZ
Dom Rice (19) 1 2017 Hants U20 Wing Forward: Elizabeth College, Guernsey Youth
Matt Thomas (31) 1 2013 Hampshire No 8: Malvern, Stourbridge 38.
BENCH
Layton Batiste (30) 0/1R 2006 TH Prop: Guernsey Youth
David Anderson 0/1R 2018 Hooker / Prop:
Ben Holland (18) 0/1R 2017 Back Row: Guernsey Youth
Matt Creber (18) 0/1R 2017 Back Row: Guernsey Youth
Brad Webb (18) 0/1R Back: Guernsey Youth, St Jacques